Is Painting a Good Trade? 4 Things to Consider in 2023

Demand for painting services continues to increase

George Leon | Updated June 7, 2023

Is painting a good trade? Yes, the painting trade is a 35 billion-dollar industry offering excellent opportunities, increasing market demand, and better-than-average profit margins for businesses. Industry employment is 433,337 in 2023, according to IBIS.

The skilled handiwork of painters is all around us, in every corner. They work on buildings and infrastructure in cities worldwide to keep them looking stunning.

The painting industry has changed a lot in recent years. Entering the trade or even starting your own painting company presents new challenges to be aware of.

You need to consider four things about the painting trade before entering it.

The Skills Needed To Become A Painter

Like any other construction trade, painting requires you to have some skills to find success in the trade. The good news is that the average person can paint a room without years of training.

However, there are certain things you need to know to boost your chances of success. 

You’ll need to have a deep understanding of the tools, materials, and techniques needed to work well; you’ll need to be physically in shape because painting requires you to climb ladders, lift objects, and carry tools, among other physically demanding tasks. 

You’ll need communication skills to understand what your client wants, and you’ll need to be time conscious and detail-oriented to ensure you don’t make mistakes. Here are some other skills that will help in your career:

Painting is a skilled trade that requires coating application, surface prep skills, knowledge of various coating properties, physical abilities, and equipment handling skills.

Basic Education Or Training

To become a house painter, it helps to complete a painting training course to make yourself more desirable to an employer.

Some positions also require a certain amount of on-the-job experience before you can apply. 

Many painters learn specific skills related to the industry they work with, such as how best to handle different types of surfaces or apply paint correctly for particular tasks, by completing apprenticeship programs that typically last a few months. 

It should not be a problem if you’re passionate and willing to go through this. You can also gain certifications to boost your portfolio – certifications show that you are qualified and experienced, giving potential employers peace of mind when they hire someone new.

Income Potential

Let’s face it; money is a motivator for most things. It’s normal to wonder how much you can make as a painter. 

According to U.S. News, the best-paid painters made $55,590 in 2020, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $34,300. 

The good news is that the painting industry is booming, with different types of jobs available to suit any skill level. Many buildings are being built, and many old buildings need repainting.

How successful you can be will depend on several things:

  • The number of jobs you take on
  • Investing in advertising for your painting business
  • The demand in your area
  • What other painters in your area charge

Is It Easy To Start A Painting Business?

As you expand your client list as a painter, you might want to create a team or a business to scale up. It’s easy to get started as a contractor in the painting business. 

There are no formal educational requirements for painting contractors, so anyone can learn the ropes first, write a painting business plan and start their own company.


Painting can be an enriching career if you have the skills and drive to succeed in this field. 

However, if you are unsure whether or not you want to commit to this career, it may be wise to try out painting as a hobby first to see if it is something you genuinely enjoy.

Written by George Leon

George Leon

George Leon is a Managing Partner at Scalebloom. He used to be a partner at a painting company in Charlotte NC. George loves to help business owners scale their business with modern marketing strategies and branding.